Questlove's Top 50 Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

45

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, "Summertime" (1991)

dj jazzy jeff and fresh prince
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The level of wildfire-speed word of mouth this single got in '91 was unbelievable. No one could believe it. I'll describe it the same way Black Thought rang me up on the phone after he first heard it: "It's like he lost all that animated happy flow and did Rakim's 'Paid in Full' flow . . . but better than Rakim!!!" I kinda have to say, this single was the best pop hit Eric B. and Rakim never got to record. For the first time, the Fresh Prince's Clark Kent was given a back seat while Will's Supermanisms took the wheel. This gave you the real view of the streets of Philadelphia.

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